Did you know that your gut health plays a big role in how healthy you are? Over the last few decades, researchers have discovered that the condition of your gut or stomach has a profound effect on your overall health. Hundreds of different types of bacteria species live inside of your gut. While that may be a scary thought, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
You may have heard that all microorganisms are bad for you but that is not exactly true. Many of the ones found in your stomach are actually good for you. It’s what helps you fight off different types of viruses and diseases.
When you have an unhealthy gut, you’re more susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Food Allergies
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Skin Conditions
- Autoimmune Diseases
Scientists and researchers are slowly beginning to learn just how much the condition of your stomach affects your overall health. There’s still much to learn but what is known is that you need a healthy balance of both good and bad gut bacteria to be healthy.
How Your Gut Health Affects Your Body
If you felt bad all the time or had serious acne, would you even suspect that an unhealthy gut might be the cause? It actually could be the root of some of your health problems. Your stomach or gut affects your health in ways that you probably never imagined. Below are some of the health problems you might encounter when you have an unhealthy gut.
It May Be Linked to Autism
Researchers have discovered that your gut may be linked to a variety of brain disorders that include autism. Studies revealed that autistic children had more intestinal problems than other kids did. More studies are needed to determine exactly how the condition of your gut affects your brain. However, at this time, it appears that poor gut health may be a contributing factor to autism and similar disorders. You can read more about these studies at Live Science.
It Affects Your Digestive System
If you have a healthy gut, then your digestive system will function much better. You won’t have to deal with indigestion, upset stomach, irregular bowel movements or other digestive problems. That’s not to say that you won’t ever get nauseated or constipated occasionally but it won’t be as often. A healthy stomach will also greatly reduce your risks of having serious digestive problems like IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease.
It Can Strengthen or Weaken Your Immune System
Your immune system and your gut work very closely together. A healthy immune system will help fight off viruses and other illnesses that could make you sick. If you do end up getting sick anyway, then it will help your body heal faster. If you have poor gut health, chances are you have a weak immune system so improving the condition of your stomach will help improve your overall health.
It Affects the Condition of Your Skin
An abundant of bad bacteria in the gut can lead to a condition called leaky gut syndrome. This condition occurs when the bad bacteria widen the pores in the digestive tract allowing the toxins to get into the bloodstream. The body then attacks these toxins, which causes inflammation that can result in conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.
It May Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult but if you’re constantly struggling to lose a few pounds without results, then you may have an unhealthy gut. If the bad bacteria in your gut override the good, then it may affect your calorie intake, cravings and slow down your metabolism, all of which affects your weight.
Learning how to maintain a good ratio of good and bad gut bacteria will make a difference in your overall health. Therefore, it’s important for you to pay close attention to your gut, so you can make changes when necessary to improve your overall health.
Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut
There is no way for you to know how much good and bad bacteria you have in your gut. Therefore, it’s not always obvious that there is a problem. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t automatically think that the way you feel has anything to do with a problem occurring inside the stomach but it might.
Here are the main symptoms associated with an unhealthy gut:
- Food Allergies
- Chronic Fatigue
- Depression or Anxiety
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Skin Conditions
- Staying Sick Most of the Time
- Chronic Headaches
- Acid Reflux or Indigestion
- Joint Pain
- Constant Fluctuation in Weight
- Thyroid Disease
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms regularly, it may be time to start taking better care of your gut. You can begin by using essential oils to improve your symptoms and overall health.
How Essential Oils Help
Essential oils contain many different therapeutic benefits that can have a positive impact on your health, including your gut. They work because your stomach and nervous system is connected. Certain essential oils can have a positive effect on the nervous system, which in turn has a positive effect on your gut.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until you think you have a problem with your gut to use these essential oils. Using them anytime will help to reduce the risks of bad bacteria taking over your stomach and it will improve your chances of having a healthy gut.
Essential oils can help improve stomach problems such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), nausea and GERD. It’s believed they have the ability to help keep the balance of good and bad bacteria within the stomach.
The following essential oils are known to aid the digestive system:
- Tea Tree
Some of these oils help to fight infection, fungal growth and internal parasites. Others soothe inflammation or give the immune system a boost. Some of the ways to use essential oils to improve your gut health include inhaling the oils or applying them topically through massage oils and lotions.
Other Ways to Improve Your Gut Health
Using essential oils can help improve the health of your gut but it’s not the only way. Your eating habits and lifestyle also plays an important role in keeping your stomach healthy. Try to avoid things that upset the balance between the good and bad bacteria by using these tips.
Eat Probiotic and Prebiotic Whole Foods
Probiotic whole foods are fermented and they contain good bacteria. These include foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Prebiotic whole foods help support the growth of good bacteria and they include raw onions, artichokes, bananas and garlic.
Take Probiotic Supplements
If you’re not eating enough probiotic foods, then you can take probiotic supplements. Taking one of these supplements daily will give the good bacteria in your stomach a boost. Therefore, they can help boost your immune system and ease digestive problems.
Avoid Antibiotics When You Can
Antibiotics kill bad bacteria that are responsible for many illnesses but the problem is they also kill the good bacteria that your body needs. You can learn more about how antibiotics affect the good bacteria in your gut and the problems it can cause at Web MD.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated helps to move the bacteria in your gut throughout your digestive system where it can work to prevent problems such as bloating, constipation and inflammation. Instead of grabbing a bottle of soda when you’re thirsty, reach for a bottle of water instead and it will help keep your gut healthy.
Take Steps to Control Stress
You can’t completely eliminate stress but by controlling it, you can improve the condition of your gut. Go for long walks, jog, go fishing, meditate, read a good book or just sit back and binge watch your favorite TV show. Whatever it takes for you to relax and reduce your stress levels for awhile, make time for it because it’s very important in helping you maintain a healthy gut.
Limit Processed Foods and Refined Sugar
Cutting processed foods and refined sugar from your diet completely would be ideal but maybe not practical. However, limiting the amount you consume is possible and very important. Eating these foods regularly increases the amount of bad bacteria in your gut because it actually feeds it. As a result, processed foods and refined sugar contribute to a wide variety of medical conditions.
Avoid Eating Gluten As Much As You Can
The body perceives gluten as an invader because it is not a natural substance. As a result, it begins trying to protect the body from this foreign substance and that can cause a variety of problems that include indigestion, inflammation and bloating.
Get Regular Exercise and Plenty of Sleep
Regular exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, which will help balance the good and bad bacteria in your stomach. Even just going for a 30-minute walk can make a difference. Getting a good night sleep is also very important. Fatigue can upset the balance and contribute to the problems.
Your gut plays an important role in your overall health. Taking care of it will make a difference in how you feel and it will help your body fight off many illnesses. Once you learn all the ways that poor gut health can affect your body, you’ll understand why it’s so important to take care of your stomach. Learn about the symptoms that indicate you might have a problem. Then use essential oils and follow the other tips above to help improve your gut health, so you can feel better than you thought possible.